Mayor Ford couldn’t hide from the media today, doing a short press scrum in between meetings with his Executive. Calling himself “300 pounds of fun”, he played down his brother’s earlier call for a strong mayor system and laughed off the suggestion that his brother has been the public face of the office. This despite the fact that his brother has clearly been the public face of the mayor’s office for several weeks now.
Whatever. His comments on yesterday’s pseudo-announcement that the city would attempt to get the private sector to finance the Sheppard line are interesting. Here’s what he said, as reported by the Globe & Mail’s Anna Mehler Paperny:
“I said I was going to build subways. I am building subways. I said if the public money’s not available, the private sector’s going to. And that’s exactly what’s going on,” he said Thursday. “We haven’t got any detailed information right now. We’re just working with a number of people, a number of groups, and I will let you know as soon as a deal is struck.”
The subtext on all this gets clearer by the day. Metrolinx refused to budge, so the Mayor has to take his ball and go home. And by ‘home’ I of course mean the private sector. Where everything is awesome but also cheap.
Ford has a ton of weird confidence in this plan, concluding that the private sector will buy into this plan because of the election results:
“I campaigned on it, people knew we had to get the private sector involved and obviously you saw the poll results – I did very well. People know you can’t always depend on government to build subways, and that’s where the private sector’s going to come in.”
Apparently there is no better inspiration for a multi-billion dollar business deal than a mayor who captured 47% of the vote.